I have noticed on my drives around the Mall during the day, especially
evening rush hour, that there seem to be more of these bike
rickshaw/carriages--a single rider (never with a helmet on) pulling two
people carriage style. They are often on major roads--Independence Ave,
for instance--going barely at the rate of a brisk walk despite
significant traffic. With all the huge tour busese, SUVs, and other
commuters, simply spotting these things is difficult. It's a serious
disaster waiting to happen. I can't belive[sic] the city actually allows
this to happen, it's so obviously dangerous.
I agree. Tour buses and SUV's should not be allowed on busy streets during rush hour. (That was their point, right?)
It is fair to assume that workers who must bicycle to and from work in
the dark are from a lower economic strata, but to link cycling deaths to
ethnicity is absurd. Were any statistics kept describing the cultural
identities of the vehicle drivers who caused these deaths? Perhaps a
majority were white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Equally absurd.
Update: As noted in the comments Ashley Halsey responded to Alpert's post. He sounds pretty reasonable (and I already knew he was a cyclist). I'm not going to excerpt the comment, as you kind of need to read the whole thing.
Scott Brenner of Alexandria wrote in to the Post to complain about the new bike lanes and the all-way pedestrian crossing.
the D.C. government has transformed a city with sufficient road capacity
into a jumbled mess of special-interest carve-outs that penalize the
average driver who may not have an alternative mode of transportation.
I'm sorry, but if you live in Alexandria and work in DC, you have a plethora of options to get to work. Driving might work best for you, but I just can't imagine the scenario where the lack of a car traps you in Alexandria.
And ignoring that Mr. Brenner's status as a taxpaying citizen in another
state kind of limits his right to complain, it's worth noting that one of the stories he referenced included this.
George Branyan, the District's pedestrian program coordinator, who was
on the scene this morning, noted that the new strategy might get drivers
through the intersection faster. Without vehicles turning and without
having to wait for pedestrians in the crosswalks, the through traffic
might flow better.
There are few places where DC has removed traffic lanes to add bike lanes. Off the top of my head I can only think of 15th St NW (though I know there are others and Penn NW should happen). That change is being studied and we'll see if it slowed down traffic or not. But many drivers on 15th were speeding anyway, so it's possible that all it did was limit one's ability to break the law.
If Mr. Brenner wants an unimpeded drive across the region (which actually has the 2nd worst congestion AAA tells us) he's living in the wrong decade.
In response to Bruce Levitt's suggestion that Beach be made into an HOV only roadway in the direction of rush-hour traffic, with cyclists restricted to the right lane - and possibly closed to traffic outside of rush hour, Bruce Shulman of Silver Spring writes:
Unlike Bruce D. Levitt [letters, May 27] and apparently other
cyclists who wish to limit access by motorists to some roads, I believe
motorists and bicyclists can coexist if all obey the law and go out of
their way to recognize the presence of others. I wonder how Mr. Levitt
would respond if anyone suggested that cyclists be limited exclusively
to the bike lanes that are increasingly available to them.
In reality, Mr. Levitt only suggested closing Beach, which is in a National Park, during off hours and only as one possibility. The suggestion to "limit access by motorists to some roads" was secondary to his main point and was something that was seriously considered by NPS.
Mr. Shulman then claims that he supports the bike lanes on 15th but that they haven't stopped cyclists from breaking the law. Which is not surprising since they weren't supposed to. They haven't stopped drivers from breaking the law either.
Perhaps The Post should report how many cyclists were cited by police
for violations during the past year.
I'm confident that even on a per-road-hour basis, the numbers for cyclists would be lower than for drivers. Which, admittedly, is in part due to the fact that cyclists are targeted less often (but it's his metric).
If Mr. Levitt and other cyclists wish to improve an unacceptable
situation, they should start by making a minimal effort at obeying the
law and recognizing that both cars and bicycles are entitled to use the
Mr. Levitt's letter was mostly about reducing congestion on Beach Drive. I fail to see how strict adherence to the law by cyclists will reduce congestion there (or anywhere else frankly). And, finally, cars and bicycles are NOT entitled to use the same streets. There are some roads cyclists are not allowed to use, such as I-395 and some drivers can't use - such as Beach Drive on weekends.
The author thinks that the mixing of bikes and cars in dangerous but does say one thing I agree with.
Worse yet is the failure by many cyclists to have lights or reflectors
or wear bright clothing so motorists can see them at dusk and at night.
During a ride in Los Angeles, loosely organized by Critical Mass, protesting British Petroleum's handling of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an LAPD officer inexplicably kicked a passing cyclist. The incident was caught on camera by another cyclist who then shouted "what the F--- was that for?" Seven seconds later, at least two police officers converge on him, knocking him to the ground.
The internal affairs unit launched a use-of-force investigation after video of the incident was posted online and a complaint was filed by cyclists, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement Saturday.
The kick is so unprofessional (and it comes from a bike cop) and if I were a cop, I'd be PO'ed about it. It doesn't even sound representative of the way most officers behaved that night.
The *vast majority* of the police along the way were helpful and accommodating. Even firefighters were out on the sidewalks outside of their stations giving high fives and waving hello. But for whatever reason the police in Hollywood were extremely aggressive and were harassing riders for no reason other than to get their kicks (I presume).
Then, they decide they had to tackle the cyclist with the camera. They couldn't ask him to pull over first? Why must cyclists always be arrested with use of force? When cops want to stop someone in a car they don't crash their car into it. They don't punch the driver through the window.
28 House members, including four Republicans (Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Michael McCaul (TX), Jack Kingston (GA), and Steven LaTourette (OH)), signed a letter supporting Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for his public support of federal bicycling and pedestrian investment.
LaTourette's endorsement of that federal embrace of bicycling and
pedestrian access is particularly notable. He initially echoed the
National Association of Manufacturers and the American Trucking
Association in chiding LaHood for the non-binding bike-ped statement, wondering "what job is going to be created" by bike lanes before later walking back his remarks.
The Tour of Missouri bike race was canceled this year after the state declined to help fund it. Maybe the hotels were just making too much money.
The race, which started in 2007, was considered one of the world's top five cycling events outside Europe and attracted riders including Alberto Contador, George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer. The 2008 race attracted 434,000 spectators and the state estimated a return of just under $30 million in economic impact for its $1.5 million investment that year.
After a poorly designed turn in Santa Barbara, CA contributed to a head-on crash between a cyclist and a van (which the cyclist survived), the cyclist sued the county. But the case was dismissed because the county had "design immunity".
Appellants sued County based on the theory that Greenwell Avenue was "a
trap" for motorists and cyclists due to the radius of the curve,
overgrown shrubs, the absence of warning signs, and because a "K-rail"
barrier allegedly forced on-coming traffic onto the wrong side of the
The trial court granted summary judgment, ruling that the road reopening
project was a construction of public property within the meaning of
section 830.6 - the design immunity statute.
London also plans to install a Bixi bike-sharing program (or hire scheme). Theirs will have 6,000 bikes at 400 docking stations
across Zone One.
Montreal users were positive about its impact. Francoise, a 44-year-old
businessman, told The Times: “It has made it very easy to get
and you can use it regularly because the first half hour is free. I live
far to cycle into Montreal but this means I can cycle between meetings
out at night.”
Charges have been dropped against Ontario's former Attorney General, in the case that arose from a traffic altercation last summer in Toronto in which a
bicycle messenger died.
The prosecutor, Richard Peck, a lawyer from British Columbia, told the
court that the messenger, Darcy Allan Sheppard, had previously harassed
and frightened motorists and that his blood alcohol level on the night
he died was double that permitted for anyone driving a motor vehicle. He
also outlined what he said was Mr. Sheppard’s history of alcohol and
drug addiction as well as prior legal skirmishes.
James, the NBA's back-to-back league MVP, will again lead some of his NBA friends and local cyclists on an eight-mile journey through Akron while recognizing and rewarding a special group of 350 children. Those children who will ride alongside James have been chosen based on academic success, improvement of physical fitness and/or important contributions to their community.
People for Bikes, a group started by BikesBelong is giving away four bikes as part of a National Bike Month promotion.
After a driver used a loud speaker to call out several things to a cyclist, including threatening to get him "off the road", the Ohio cyclist tapped on his mirror and asked him what was going on. Further up the road, he was then "tapped" by the driver (or his van, however you think of it). The cyclists called 911 and followed the driver. Initially the driver was found guilty of felonious assault, but the charges were dropped on appeal.
a review of the record and evidence demonstrates that there is insufficient evidence to convict Copley of felonious assault. A review of the record fails to show that Copley knowingly attempted to cause physical harm or knew of the risk of physical harm to McLaughlin. Additional review demonstrates that it is unclear if Copley had knowledge of the circumstances such that he was aware of where McLaughlin was in the road at the time.
Although it is not dispositive of this case, it is still important to note the fact that thorough review of the pictures and additional evidence does not demonstrate any injury to McLaughlin's ankle beyond a slight redness in color; no lacerations, no bleeding, no bruising, no swelling. It is also worth noting that although McLaughlin sprained his ankle, the injury was minor enough that he was able to have the strength and stamina to stay on his bike and give chase to the van.
The dissenting judge wrote
Copley used his van as a weapon and attempted to remove Mr. McLaughlin from the road by force. The act of ramming a large van into a cyclist at 10 to 15 miles per hour is a sufficient overt act to constitute an assault with a deadly weapon.
Copley, using his van's PA system, yelled that he would get Mr. McLaughlin off the road. In pedestrian accident cases such as this, it is often difficult to divine the intent of a defendant. However, appellant's threats, made just before the incident, provide sufficient evidence that appellant knowingly attempted to cause physical harm to Mr. McLaughlin. Copley's own statements provide clear evidence of intent. The threat, along with Copley's van colliding with Mr. McLaughlin's bike, constitutes a substantial overt act directed at accomplishing an assault with a deadly weapon.
“It’s basically about liberal extremists in Madison who hate
cars and think everyone should bike to work,” Nass said. “It is
basically making it difficult to use an automobile.”
Nass said the boxes will cause bikes to cluster and get in
the way of motor vehicles when the light turns green.
That is kind of the point.
the installations are costly in a time when government budgets are
pinched, he said.
McCormick said the first roll-out is being underwritten as a
pilot by Flint Trading, a North Carolina company that manufactures
the materials, with the city paying about $3,000 out of the $16,000
That sounds like a deal to me.
The bike boxes are an extension of bias against motorists, Nass
“If you’re in a vehicle, you will get tickets for many things,”
he said. “There’s no question that there is a difference in who
they are ticketing, and bicyclists are not obeying traffic laws,
Bias against motorists? I guess he's right. I heard about this case in Ohio where just because a driver threatened to hit a cyclist right before hitting him, an obviously anti-car biased jury decided he did it with intent. Luckily an unbiased group of judges decided that was ridiculous. I mean the cyclist was barely even injured.
A response to the law of unintended consequences: an amendment to the Auto Safey Bill, that just made it out of committee, will deal with the 'quiet car' problem.
the amendment would require makers of hybrid and electric cars, which
often produce little to no sound when traveling at low speeds, to
include an alert noise as a precaution for nearby pedestrians and
A September study [PDF]
conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found
that the crash risk to pedestrians from cars traveling at low speeds was
twice as high for hybrids as for combustion-engine models. The study
also concluded that the likelihood of crashes at road intersections
involving cyclists were "significantly higher" for hybrids than for
conventionally powered cars
The council’s Transportation Planning Board will discuss the proposal at
a June 16 meeting and plans to make the July 16 pre-application
deadline, said Ron Kirby, director of the council’s transportation
TIGER II may be more competitive than TIGER was. There's less money, $540M, available for one thing (about 1/3 as much). And $140M of that is reserved for rural areas. So MWCOG is hoping to get 2.5% of the money available. But this round also requires a 20% match, so that may keep some jurisdictions away - it's cheap money, but not free money.
Bike League has some advice for applicants and notes that if grants are the same in size as they were in TIGER, that means only 18 projects will be funded.
Competitive applications should strongly fulfill the grant’s five
primary criteria. They should help maintain a state of good repair,
contribute to economic competitiveness (of the country overall) over the
medium to long term, foster livability and increase transportation
choice, help environmental sustainability, and improve safety. The DOT
is also looking for projects that involve innovative strategies and
If this is the only project that MWCOG applies for, it would strengthen Butterbike's chances. I'm actually concerned that they have the manpower to site that many stations quickly. But it's a good problem to have.
At the Thanks to LaHood ride, there was a Bixi bike and I got to ride it. It's nice. Unlike SmartBike it feels like a normal bike. It rides really well. It has build in lights that you power as you ride. And, like me, it's sleek and sexy. Hopefully it won't have the sun bleaching problem that SmartBike has that makes the bikes look prematurely old. You can see a photo of Jeff Peel of LAB riding one above.
We weren’t alone! Not only did 100 other cyclists in Washington, D.C. take the opportunity to bike over to US DOT headquarters, but over 200 bicycling, active living, smart growth and public health organizations from all 50 states signed on to our thank you letter.
Secretary LaHood took a moment to address the media regarding the DOT’s commitment towards bicycling, but not before turning his back to the media assembled to address the large crowd who had biked over. LaHood’s message was similar to that of his famous tabletop speech that we bicyclists have a full partner in Ray LaHood and the US DOT. He also suggested that we continue to not be shy about our message, that it is being heard.
Virginia Public Television's Virginia
Currents recently aired an episode that spotlighted
the James River Branch Trail near Richmond. This is a 2.3 mile rail trail that's under construction.
The rail trail is covered in the first 15 minutes.
Speaking of bike sharing, David Alpert asks for name suggestions, and one common suggestion is already taken, thank you. I actually don't think Arlington and Alexandria want a name that is Washington based. I suggest Potomac Bixi or Pixi.
Speaking of BikeDC, NBC4 covered it - and noted that many drivers were annoyed.